Google has released its lightweight Google Go search app for all Android users across the world.
For the past two years, Google Go, which aims to help users on poor mobile connections, has shipped with cheap Android Go devices and downloads have been limited to users in emerging markets. But the app is now available to all Android users on the Play Store globally.
SEE: IT pro's guide to the evolution and impact of 5G technology (free PDF)
While Google Go was designed for emerging markets, the company reasons that users everywhere can struggle with poor connectivity and limited storage, so they too may benefit from its features.
Google Go has been downloaded over 100 million times from Google Play, suggesting Android Go has been something of a success. As noted by Android Police, Google Maps Go hit that milestone recently too.
The app is just 7MB in size but it includes features like Lens, allowing users to read and translate text through a phone's camera.
The app also has a read-out-loud feature for users who want to listen to text on a page. It also highlights text as it's being read.
And to save storage space, Google Go highlights web versions of popular apps so users can avoid downloading the whole package.
Other lightweight Go apps include Gmail Go, Files Go, Google Assistant Go, and YouTube Go. Android Go devices also included optimized versions of Gboard, Google Play, and Chrome.
Google launched Oreo-based Android Go in 2017 for devices with between 512MB to 1GB of RAM. Along with Android Go, it launched key Google Go apps with special features designed to help users scrimp on data and storage.
The goal with Android Go and Google's lightweight apps was to ensure users in developing countries can access its services. To that end, Google has also backed KaiOS, the "smart feature phone" operating system that runs on devices like the Nokia 8110 that have Google Search, Maps, Assistant and YouTube installed by default.